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DESIGN THE MESSAGE FOR CHANGE  (Part of the Plan Phase)

This is the first opportunity in the change leadership process to design the approach that will bring your team, or organisation, with you on the change journey.  Consideration of the outcomes, outputs, benefits, performance indicators and alignment of business plans is critical to ensuring that you can explain the 'why ' of your project.  A common precept of all adult engagement is answering the 'why' question to the satisfaction of the participant.

Communicating change

A critical role in change leadership is communicating with team members so that they are aware of the required changes and know why the changes are required. Messages from immediate supervisors are far more impactful than those from other team members or the project team. Close supervisors should explain:
  • Why the change is necessary
  • What is changing and how it will impact the way they work
  • The benefits of the changes (always broadcast on WII FM: ‘What’s In It For Me’)
  • The consequences of not changing
  • Why parts of the change are urgent (where is the 'burning platform')
  • Constructive feedback on the changes is welcome


PODS Compass

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Leaders need to be open to new ways of communicating with team members, using all forums and opportunities available. The Sandar Chandelier of Communication is a good reference.

Vision and change

Creating a vision for the future change can inspire, motivate and engage team members. A vision can also create meaning and a sense of purpose uniting people towards a common goal.

Communicating the vision is the ability to articulate not only what the future will look like, but how it will feel, what team members will experience and what they will be doing in the future. The more detailed, rich and full-bodied the vision of the future, the more likely will be the buy-in.

Developing a vision does not have to be the responsibility of the leader alone, it can be done as part of a team approach; creating a shared vision can further engage team members and gain commitment of the change effort. Often the change elements can be presented as activities along a path towards the vision.

Team members will be more motivated to adopt a change when they can clearly see/feel/hear how the change aligns with the organisational strategy, their values, the group or team goals, and individual performance objectives.

Idea
Keep the vision clear, simple and easy for a broad audience to understand. You should be able to communicate the vision in less than a minute and it should appeal to both ‘hearts’ and ‘minds'.

Action
Ask the group the question: “How does this change align to our team goals and objectives?” Make sure the answers are heard by all the team members.

Resources: 
   ● Sandar Chandelier of Communication (84kB download)
   ● Communication Planning Overview (69kB download) 
   ● Building Rapport Handout (102kB download) 
   ● Richness of Communication Effectiveness (53kB download) 
   ● Change Communication Planning Presentation (704kB download) 
   ● Communication Calendar Template (14kB download) 
   ● Communication Plan Template (63kB download) 
   ● Communications Strategy Plan Style 2 Sample (125kB download) 
   ● What type of negotiator are you? Handout (385kB download) 

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